Saved From the Lion’s Den
י״ז במרחשון ה׳תש״פ (15 בNovember 2019)
Rabbi Chaim Attar, the Ohr HaChaim was a very wise sage that lived in Morocco before moving to Jerusalem. When he lived in Morocco he made his livelihood from being a goldsmith making beautiful things out of gold and silver. Once the king sent his servants with a supply of gold and they told him: “The king has learned that you are the greatest expert in this field and he wants you to make a gold embroidered jewel for the occasion of his daughter’s wedding. You have 10 days to complete it.” The servants left the gold on the table, turned around and left.
The Ohr HaChaim went back to learning and in his deep concentration he soon forgot about the gold on the table of his shop and totally forgot about the job. At the end of 10 days, the king’s servants came to pick up the finished work. The rabbi told them he hadn’t yet started it. The servants immediately ran to the king to inform him that the rabbi was very rude to the king and is rebelling against him because he didn’t even start making the ornament the king requested. The king received this report about the rude rabbi and immediately decreed that the rabbi should be thrown into the lion’s den like every common rebel against the king.
The king’s soldiers came to take the Ohr HaChaim to the lion’s den to get his rightful punishment. When they came, the rabbi asked to take his book of Psalms and to wear his tallit and tefillin. The soldiers laughed at him and told him he was going to die there but they let him do as he asked. The king’s messengers were on their way to throw the rabbi into the lion’s den and even from far when they heard the roaring from the lions they shuddered in fear. The Ohr HaChaim on the other hand was calm and showed no fear. The messengers threw the rabbi in and looked inside to see how quickly he would be devoured. They were shocked when they saw the lions lying at his feet in submission licking his feet and wagging their tails happily. The rabbi himself was praying from his Book of Psalms wrapped in his tallit and tefillin.
The soldiers ran to tell the king what they saw and the king himself came to witness the wondrous miracle. The king shouted; “Now I know there is a G-d in Israel.” He ordered to take the holy rabbi out of the lion’s den and the king begged the rabbi for forgiveness for insulting his holiness. The king asked him how he was able to be saved and the Ohr HaChaim explained that since the reason he didn’t make the king’s ornament was because he was learning Torah the Torah protected him and saved him.
The king sent him home with great honor and many gifts.
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